LEMUN rocks - LEMUN in the new world | 26-08-2011

Hans Prins
A slow train brought us from New Haven, Connecticut to Grand Central Station, an industrial cathedral from the 19th century in the heart of New York City. From there it was a short walk to the United Nations building on the West Side of Manhattan. A tour of the UN brought us to the center of international diplomacy, the Security Council. It was a memorable moment in the life of a Leiden Model United Nations delegate. One hour of discussion over the influence of Al Jazeera and social media gave us a clear insight into the causes and nature of the Arab Spring. From the UN building we walked to the Dutch Mission at the UN, where we were met by two Dutch diplomats. The focus of our discussion there was the role of diplomats, the relationship with their respective governments, the influence of the PVV of Geert Wilders on Dutch international relations and the everyday life of diplomats.  Around five in the afternoon we enjoyed dinner in Times Square. We left the melting pot of New York City at sunset by train. America is one of the few industrial countries without a high-speed train, a sharp contrast with the great ambition that once built Grand Central Station.

Washington, shake and bake.
Now if you are of a jealous character, then I suggest that you do not Google the Donovan House in Washington where the LEMUN group stayed for three days. The rooftop garden with swimming pool gave way to a stunning view of the city – however, the city brought us lots of work, discussions, walks, a tour of Capitol Hill and an earthquake! The short tremor forced Washington DC into an emergency mode, a massive outpouring of office dwellers, of people in museums and shops, lots of sirens and helicopters hovering overhead the rest of the hot summer day. Well, life is not always easy for us but if you choose a classroom over a trip to the USA you’ll definitely miss the excitement of a glamorous life. 

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